Distributed, Multi-Echelon Logistics Management

Period of Performance: 12/18/2009 - 12/18/2011

$750K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Aspire Solutions, Inc.
323 W Spring St
Fayetteville, AR 72701
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The objective of this proposal is to develop multi-echelon logistics management tools based on Agile principles and integrate them into the Manufacturing Repair Overhaul (MRO) environment. The Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center (OC-ALC) current processes are sub-optimized and focus on each individual operation. This research would create a global optimization by balancing the key issues that impact the overall flow of the aircraft. Depot MRO has its own unique set of challenges that make it different then traditional manufacturing. The age of their aircraft and the different operating environments of each aircraft further compound issues not addressed in conventional manufacturing. To address the unique needs of the MRO environment, we propose to develop heuristic strategies that approximate the optimal solution, and overcome the long computational time associated with exact solutions. These tools will utilize heuristic optimization strategies and be designed to enable the OC-ALC to react to the short lead-time environment common with its unpredictable repairs. BENEFIT: By integrating heuristic strategies into our multi-echelon logistics management model, our tools will have the ability to reduce flow days, reduce operating expenses, reduce inventory levels, increases response time, and increase employee flexibility. Our tools also enable management to constantly monitor the operations and make adjustments before circumstances impact delivery schedules and introduce additional costs and delays. The tool will be designed using key variables identified by each organization enabling the tool to be utilized across a wide array of environments. The tool can be applied to any environment that has unpredictable demand situations and short lead-times for addressing the situation. Outside DOD, health care, utilities, and job shops contain many similar opportunities. Other opportunities exist within many different types of repair organizations, disaster response, and custom manufacturing companies.